Wednesday, August 09, 2006

DC United Preview: "Let's Get Friendly!!!"

DC United vs. Real Madrid
Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington
8/9/2006 Wednesday, 11pm EST

Well, here it is. After much talk over the last three weeks or so, we finally arrive at the friendly. Kowtowing to Real Madrid's wishes of both wanting to play the best that MLS has to offer (DC United) and wanting to remaining on the West Coast to avoid jet lag (pussy's), United travel to Seattle, Washington State, not D.C. to play the 9 time European Champion. As this match falls in the middle of 10 days without a scheduled match, this isn't that bad a situation, but the travel isn't the greatest.

Ok, lets get down to it. This match is nothing more than a friendly. DC United will not get a special pass into the MLS Cup final if they defeat los galactico's in Seattle. They don't get anything, except pride. Not to play this point down, but that is pretty much what is on the line here. To be able to go into a neutral site and get a victory over los galactico's would be huge for DC United and for MLS. MLS will finally be able to save face from the Madrid Massacre that happened last season with the MLS Select team. DC United would be able to continue its march towards glory this season, adding los Merengues to Celtic in the realm of foreign foes that have been dispatched on the field of battle.

Real will most likely stroll through this matchup much like Chelsea did on Saturday against the MLS "Some Stars." The liberal sub rule will get pretty much all of their 24 man roster onto the field, maybe with Beckham as an exception due to his nagging knee injury. United should pretty much follow this same route. We should get our starters out on the field for the first half, then have several key guys sit the second half and then rotate out everyone else through the second half. I would start this line up:

Namoff - Boswell - Erpen
Caroll - Olsen
Gros - Gomez - Adu
Moreno - Eskandarian

That should give them plenty of playing time against los Madridsta's, yet still give them enough rest for the match against the new look RBNY next week. I would then have Rimando, Simms, Stokes, Mediate, Walker, Moose, and Dyachenko rotate in for the rest of the guys, maybe keeping Adu and Boswell on the field for the whole match. Bobby seems to find the net when playing a Euro club, so he should remain on the field for the whole match. Adu should also stay on and when Gomez leaves, he should really step up and be "the Man" in the middle. If Freddy is going to run an offense and play in Europe, he needs to show he can do it. What better a way to do so than against Real Madrid?

So...can DC United pull off the upset and win? Yes, I think that they could, assuming the Peter Nowak has them fired up and with the proper mindset, just as he did with the MLS "Some Stars" on Saturday. That will have to be coupled with a Real side that does not have the same intensity and fire and decides to use this as a warm-up match for the La Liga season. If Real goes out there and is firing on all cylinders...United could very well get run over.

Prediction: DC United 1 - 2 Real Madrid*
* - Bobby Boswell gets the lone United goal.


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